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Wildfire closes 23-mile stretch of I-70 in southern Utah

July 28, 2018

COVE FORT, Utah (AP) — An 11-day-old wildfire shifted direction Saturday, forcing closure of a 23-mile (37-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 70 near its junction with Interstate 15 in southern Utah.

Officials said the closure of I-70 in both directions was due to safety concerns for both firefighters and the public.

The lightning-sparked fire started July 17 about 7 miles (11 kilometers) east of the instates’ junction near Cove Fort about 155 miles (249 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City.

The fire had burned about 1.7 square miles (4 sq. kilometers) and was 15 percent contained Saturday.

The fire was burning in forest and rugged terrain which limited the access of firefighters who were using burnout operations and other indirect tactics as aircraft dropped retardant.

Approximately 250 firefighters and other personnel are assigned to the fire.

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